Woodstock girls finish as runner-up in D-II lacrosse

Woodstock High's Skye Cully (3) avoids U32's Zoe Hilferty (13) while confronting the Raiders' Natalie Beauregard (10) during the Vermont Division II teams' June 15, 2024, meeting in the state title game at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. U32 overcame a six-goal deficit to win, 13-10. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission.

Woodstock High's Skye Cully (3) avoids U32's Zoe Hilferty (13) while confronting the Raiders' Natalie Beauregard (10) during the Vermont Division II teams' June 15, 2024, meeting in the state title game at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. U32 overcame a six-goal deficit to win, 13-10. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. —Tris Wykes

Woodstock High's Skye Culley, left, runs away from U32's Hannah Drury during the Vermont Division II teams' June 15, 2024, meeting in the state title game at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. U32 overcame a six-goal deficit to win, 13-10. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission.

Woodstock High's Skye Culley, left, runs away from U32's Hannah Drury during the Vermont Division II teams' June 15, 2024, meeting in the state title game at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. U32 overcame a six-goal deficit to win, 13-10. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. valley news photographs — Tris Wykes

Woodstock High girls lacrosse coach Amanda Hull, left, walks with, from left, Maggie Mello, Gracie Laperle and Mikayla Myers towards the remainder of the Wasps after the Vermont Division II team's June 15, 2024, meeting with U32 in the state title game at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. U32 overcame a six-goal deficit to win, 13-10. Myers carries the runner-up plaque in her right hand after receiving it from Vermont Principals' Association officials. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission.

Woodstock High girls lacrosse coach Amanda Hull, left, walks with, from left, Maggie Mello, Gracie Laperle and Mikayla Myers towards the remainder of the Wasps after the Vermont Division II team's June 15, 2024, meeting with U32 in the state title game at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. U32 overcame a six-goal deficit to win, 13-10. Myers carries the runner-up plaque in her right hand after receiving it from Vermont Principals' Association officials. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. —Tris Wykes

Woodstock High girls lacrosse coach Amanda Hull addresses her team at halftime of its June 15, 2024, meeting with U32 during the Vermont Division II teams' meeting in the state title game at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. U32 overcame a six-goal deficit to win, 13-10. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission.

Woodstock High girls lacrosse coach Amanda Hull addresses her team at halftime of its June 15, 2024, meeting with U32 during the Vermont Division II teams' meeting in the state title game at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. U32 overcame a six-goal deficit to win, 13-10. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. —Tris Wykes

Woodstock High's Claudia Shoemaker, right, defends U32's Alex Pickel during the Vermont Division II teams' June 15, 2024, meeting in the state title game at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. U32 overcame a six-goal deficit to win, 13-10. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission.

Woodstock High's Claudia Shoemaker, right, defends U32's Alex Pickel during the Vermont Division II teams' June 15, 2024, meeting in the state title game at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. U32 overcame a six-goal deficit to win, 13-10. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Valley News — Tris Wykes

By TRIS WYKES

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 06-17-2024 3:00 AM

Modified: 06-19-2024 4:41 PM


NORTHFIELD, Vt. — A half moon hung in the sky on Saturday night over Norwich University’s Sabine Field. Below, the evening was full of disappointment for the Woodstock High girls lacrosse team.

The Wasps, who led U-32 by six goals with six minutes to play in the first half, lost in a rematch of last year’s final, this time by a 13-10.

“We knew U-32 is gritty, and they really fought hard,” said ninth-year Woodstock coach Amanda Hull, whose team lost five starters from last year’s team, including its leading scorer and starting goaltender. “This field is huge and, with all the fans, our players couldn’t hear us on the sideline. They couldn’t hear us calling plays or even just encouraging them.”

U-32 trailed by two goals during the first half of last season’s title clash, so Woodstock certainly knew the Raiders (17-2) were dangerous, even when facing a deficit. On Saturday, U-32 began winning draw controls and the Wasps couldn’t successfully adjust.

“We switched up people on the draws, but they just didn’t go our way,” said Hull, who led Woodstock to its last title, in 2015. “We knew the things we needed to do, like taking care of the ball and having better communication, and we couldn’t let them catching up in the score affect our brains.”

The repeated possessions wore down Woodstock’s defense, and when sophomore goaltender and first-year starter Jessica Baumann hurt a knee, she had to soldier on because her team had no backup.

“Unfortunate,” Hull said. “She took a deep breath and sucked it up. Once you have something that’s bugging you like that, the mental part (of the game) is harder. She still made a couple of really great saves after that, but I’m sure it was weighing on her a little bit.”

Woodstock led, 5-1, after a quarter, echoing its semifinal upset of top-seeded Hartford, when it jumped to a 7-0 lead. The Wasps also scored three of the second quarter’s first four goals to lead, 8-2, with 6 minutes, 18 seconds remaining before halftime.

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U-32 scored the half’s last two goals, however, the latter when a shot dribbled across the line. The teams traded goals after intermission but U-32 then scored the next seven, the pressure ratcheting up with each strike. By the time Woodstock’s Hannah Gubbins went off on a non-releasable two-minute penalty, the game felt over, despite her team trailing only 10-9 with 11 minutes to play.

Sure enough, the Raiders scored twice while up a player. Gubbins got one back on a free-position shot with eight minutes to play, but the Wasps didn’t otherwise seriously threaten during the final frame.

Claudia Shoemaker scored four times and Gubbins posted a hat trick for Woodstock (11-7), which beat U-32 by two goals during the teams’ regular-season meeting.

“These girls wanted a rematch so badly because of last year,” Hull said. “They had an amazing season and should be so proud.”

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.